Originally posted in The Independent.
He died fighting for Britain 200 years ago at the Battle of Waterloo, felled by a French musket ball that lodged in his ribs. But the remains of the German soldier, believed to be those of Private Friedrich Brandt, are not at rest.
Instead, they are on display in a Belgian museum, part of an exhibition commemorating the bicentenary of the great battle. The decision to show the remains – discovered under a car park near the Lion Mound area of the battlefield in 2012 – has shocked historians, who are now campaigning for them to be reinterred.
Military historian Rob Schäfer said: “It doesn’t have to be a military [funeral], just a dignified funeral. He can go home to Hanover … a burial in England would be great. Anything but being in a display box.”
The remains were put on show on 23 May at the Waterloo Memorial 1815 in the Belgian province of Walloon Brabant. While the institution insists the identity of the dead soldier is unknown, it is widely believed the remains are those of Brandt, a 23-year-old hunchback from Hanover, in the King’s German Legion – exiled Hanoverians who fought as part of the Duke of Wellington’s army and who trained at…